We report on the pulse-to-pulse energy distributions and phase-resolved modulation properties for catalogued pulsars in the southern High Time Resolution Universe intermediate-latitude survey. We selected the 315 pulsars detected in a single-pulse search of this survey, allowing a large sample unbiased regarding any rotational parameters of neutron stars. We found that the energy distribution of many pulsars is well described by a log-normal distribution, with few deviating from a small range in log-normal scale and location parameters. Some pulsars exhibited multiple energy states corresponding to mode changes, and implying that some observed ‘nulling’ may actually be a mode-change effect. PSR J1900−2600 was found to emit weakly in its previously identified ‘null’ state. We found evidence for another state-change effect in two pulsars, which show bimodality in their nulling time-scales; that is, they switch between a continuous-emission state and a single-pulse-emitting state. Large modulation occurs in many pulsars across the full integrated profile, with increased sporadic bursts at leading and trailing sub-beam edges. Some of these high-energy outbursts may indicate the presence of ‘giant pulse’ phenomena. We found no correlation with modulation and pulsar period, age or other parameters. Finally, the deviation of integrated pulse energy from its average value was generally quite small, despite the significant phase-resolved modulation in some pulsars; we interpret this as tenuous evidence of energy regulation between distinct pulsar sub-beams.